If you hadn't noticed, London Fashion Week AW17 is kicking off this Friday, so what better time to celebrate six of our favourite young, female designers steering British style forward? As a leading fashion capital of the world, London is renowned for its raw dynamism, irreverence, diverse inspiration and innovative design and the female talent (plus Paulo Almeida!) below are at the forefront of the field, thanks to their provocative and inspired collections.
Showcasing the highlights from each of their SS17 offerings, ahead of their AW17 shows this week, we picked three new faces – who you'll see all over the catwalks during Fashion Month – to model their wonderful wares. Introducing Ayaana Stevens, Lais van Niel and Patricia Missotten a.k.a. the future faces of fashion.
Last season at LFW, wherever we looked, we saw Shrimps, whether it was a fluffy coat, a faux fur-trimmed jacket, a cartoon-print shirt or a furry bag. Needless to say, Hannah Weiland has swiftly become one of the hottest names in British fashion, having launched Shrimps just four years ago, and her instantly recognisable, playful creations are adored by Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, Laura Jackson and Poppy Delevingne, to name a few.
The theme for Hannah's SS17 collection was “Modern Marie Antoinette, Playful Opulence, with Gauguin and Edward Wadsworth influences”, featuring lace and broderie anglaise alongside the signature Shrimps faux fur. Tonal, pearl-coloured pyjama pieces were presented next to exquisite, voluminous dresses. Below is our standout look, incorporating two of our favourite SS17 trends: gingham and ruffles.
Design duo Marques' Almeida are responsible for some of the biggest trends in fashion over the past couple of years, from the ubiquity of frayed, ruffled denim to the return of the puffer jacket. Despite launching just over five years ago, in 2011, the pair have already made a remarkable impact on the industry. Their influence and unique creative vision were recognised in May 2015 when Central Saint Martins alumni Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida were awarded the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. While we await their AW17 show, on the last day of LFW, we serve up more gorgeous gingham courtesy of Marques' Almeida SS17.
An alumna of the late Louise Wilson’s Central Saint Martins MA course, Phoebe English has received international acclaim for her immaculately cut, monochromatic deconstructed designs and uncompromising attention to finish and fabrics. Politically proactive, Phoebe's SS17 collection was inspired by her social and political frustrations, manifest in seven different characters: The Archer, The Water Bearer, The Enquirer, The Smuggler, The Chanter, The Strangler and The Mourner.
For SS17, Ashley Williams invited us to relive her teenage dream, caught nebulously between reality and fantasy. From a '90s-inspired T-shirt dress, adorned with an image of River Phoenix, worn under a beaded bralette and finished off with crystal-studded, sparkly creepers, to a purple, ruffled shirt dress and a white, fluffy cat bag or hoodies emblazoned with 'HAIRCUT' and boxy two-piece suits, the nostalgic, eclectic collection fused skater fashion with frilly femininity.
Since her fashion week debut in February 2013, as part of Fashion East, Ashley's girl gang has consistently been ferociously cool and fiercely individual. Below, Lais wears a tomboy look, finished off with a tiara, encapsulating Williams' signature style.
Italian-born designer Serafina Sama launched Isa Arfen in 2011 after graduating from Central Saint Martins (it's still churning out all the best, right?!) and gaining experience at Chloé, Marni, Lanvin and Marc Jacobs. Isa Arfen's ethos is about dressing women in a wardrobe that is playful, beautiful and chic, in eye-catching jewel tones. We can't get enough of her creative designs.
After graduating from Ravensbourne University with a degree in Fashion Print and Womenswear, Clio Peppiatt launched her eponymous label in 2014, quickly garnering a loyal fanbase who adore her intricate hand-appliqués, illustrative embroidery and tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. Clio explores themes of modern femininity with the aim of creating unique and individual clothing to make women feel content, confident and courageous. See our favourite SS17 look below.